This is the continuation of a series of posts dealing with issues where some individuals in the United States government are attempting to hold at least a portion of the rest of the federal government accountable and responsible for its actions and inactions. The public displays we find, however, are not unlike the most bizarre of Kabuki Theater or Theater of the Absurd.
Please watch as Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) speaks to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen in the House Oversight Committee. Yes, John Koskinen, a supporter of Lois Lerner and an Obama appointee, is still in control of the Internal Revenue Service as its 48th Commissioner.
Please remember, ladies and gentlemen, these are your federal tax dollars either
This is the beginning of a series of posts dealing with issues where some individuals in the United States government are attempting to hold at least a portion of the rest of the federal government accountable and responsible for its actions and inactions. The public displays we find, however, are not unlike the most bizarre of Kabuki Theater or Theater of the Absurd.
Jason Chaffetz vs BLM, otherwise know as the Bureau of Land Management.
Please remember, ladies and gentlemen, these are your federal tax dollars either
My thanks to the SHR Media Network for allowing me to broadcast in their studio and over their air twice weekly, Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as appear on the Sack Heads Radio Show™ each Wednesday evening. My thanks are even more heartfelt due to the nature of the show I presented Thursday night which included examining, in-depth, the destructive, uncontrollable, unrepentant, irresponsible and authoritative nature of our federal government.
Thursday night we discussed:
Canada’s House of Commons passes anti-Islamophobia motion; will this religious motion apply equally to protestants and Jews?
Muslim Somali males in Minneapolis threaten to kidnap and rape women;
Tommy Robinson states the obvious to a Muslim advocate in London;
Rockville, MD superintendent in control of the school system where a 14-year-old girl was raped by an illegal alien believes parents are racist and xenophobic;
What is The Hammer?
House Intelligence Committee hearings with Comey, Gowdy, Nunes, FISA;
Rep Elise Stefanik reveals Director James Comey’s true nature;
Jason Chaffetz proves: the FBI doesn’t obey the law;
American privacy, LPR technology;
Government crisis of legitimacy; who watches the watchers?
Please join me, the Bloviating Zeppelin(on Twitter @BZep and on Gab.ai @BZep), every Tuesday and Thursday night on the SHR Media Network from 11 PM to 1 AM Eastern and 8 PM to 10 PM Pacific, at the Berserk Bobcat Saloon — where the speech is free but the drinks are not.
As ever, thank you so kindly for listening, commenting, and interacting in the chat room or listening via podcast. Thanks also to Mary Brockman’s Biker Mafia in chat.
Want to listen to the Berserk Bobcat Saloon archives in podcast? Go here.
House seeks clarity on FBI facial recognition database
by Matt Leonard
The FBI has expanded its access to photo databases and facial recognition technology to support its investigations. Lawmakers, however, have voiced a deep mistrust in the bureau’s ability to protect those images of millions of American citizens and properly follow regulations relating to transparency.
Kimberly Del Greco, the deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, faced tough questioning from both sides of the aisle at a March 22 hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
Stop. This is the same privacy issue I have with the utilization of LPR (License Plate Recognition) technology by law enforcement agencies locally and nationally. LPR systems, mounted on the roofs of enforcement vehicles, rapidly collect and analyze visual information, the license plates of vehicles, in order to determine their status, either stolen or wanted due to criminal activity. In essence, there is yet no limitation on what can or must be done with this information. It can and is shared with abandon between agencies — not just law enforcement — and the technology has the ability to track vehicles and place them at certain locations at precise times. Though you, the driver, have committed no crime.
With more LPR systems installed on law enforcement vehicles, the issue of privacy becomes even more impacted. At present there is policy, not law, regarding LPR collection.
The FBI’s use of facial recognition technology was called into question last year after the Government Accountability Office issued a report saying the bureau had not updated its privacy impact assessment when the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System “underwent significant changes.”
Now that you have an idea of the issue at hand, please watch the video in which Jason Chaffetz attempts to acquire some sort of cooperation or sense from Del Greco.
“So here’s the problem,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee chairman. “You’re required by law to put out a privacy statement and you didn’t and now we’re supposed to trust you with hundreds of millions of people’s faces.”
The FBI’s NGI-IPS allows law enforcement agencies to search a database of over 30 million photos to support criminal investigations. The bureau can also access an internal unit called Facial Analysis, Comparison and Evaluation, which can tap other federal photo repositories and databases in 16 states that can include driver’s license photos. Through these databases, the FBI has access to more than 411 million photos of Americans, many of whom have never been convicted of a crime.
Fingerprints, DNA, photographs, license plates. All ways that law enforcement can identify, follow and track you. All of them impacting your privacy.
Jason Chaffetz also revealed a vitally-important aspect of technological programs that collect massive amounts of information: social media. Will it collect from that?
More importantly, who answers when the information becomes corrupted, is erroneous, provides incorrect analysis or becomes hacked, compromised or distributed itself?
The GAO report said the FBI was not testing the accuracy of its system on a regular basis and has not done testing to ensure that the system provides accurate results for “all allowable candidate list sizes.”
Multiple witnesses, including Jennifer Lynch, the senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Alvaro Bedoya, executive director at the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law, said that facial recognition technologies have provided false positives more regularly for women, younger individuals and people of color.
“That is due to the training data that is used in facial recognition systems,” Lynch said. “Most facial recognition systems are developed using pretty homogeneous images of people’s faces, so that means mostly whites and men.”
Perfect. A racist system that violates your privacy as well.
The point of displaying the video here on the blog is so that you formulate an idea of how difficult it is to acquire anything even remotely resembling the truth from government agencies and, in this case, the FBI, which is an arm of the Department of Justice. Remember what Jason Chaffetz said:
The FBI’s failure to update the privacy impact assessment, Chaffetz added, was yet another reason not to trust the agency with ordinary Americans’ personal information.
The federal government continually says that its citizens must trust it or there will be a gap of confidence. It implores America to have faith and belief. Yet it does nothing whatsoever to discourage citizens from thinking this way or disabuse us from questioning most everything it does.
What do you truly have as a country when the FBI proves it does not obey the law and, by dint of that, the Department of Justice? The FBI and the rest of the alphabet agencies continue to prove they cannot be trusted as they serially dissemble, dodge, evade, withhold, distract, lie and, moreover, politicize every aspect of their activities.
Then deny it all.
We are coming to a tipping point, ladies and gentlemen, not just here in America but throughout the rest of the world, with regard to big government. We have a trust crisis, a budget crisis and even a crisis of legitimacy.
[Note: I have been away from blogging and my various radio broadcasts since last Sunday, due to the fact that I was smacked with the flu. My apologies. I will be attempting to ramp things up as the days go on.]
When I voted for Donald Trump I did so with my eyes wide open. My vote was cast primarily because he was not Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. I also voted for Trump because I sensed he would make more sensible nominations for SCOTUS; first to replace Antonin Scalia then to fill what I suspect will be another two to possibly three additional jurists in the next four years.
I’ll be honest. I can only hope that SCOTUS truly is stacked with moderate or conservative jurists that will keep the court on a common sense track for at least another generation, perhaps two.
As an adult I knew Trump would do things with which I’d disagree. He has done so. From the WashingtonPost.com:
FBI Director James Comey to stay on in Trump administration
by Matt Zapotosky, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller
FBI Director James B. Comey was among the senior U.S. officials who had the unpleasant task of traveling to Trump Tower last month to inform the president-elect that Russia had interfered in the election process to help him win office.
Then Comey asked his colleagues — including the CIA director — to step outside so that he could discuss something even more awkward: a dossier in wide circulation in Washington that alleged that Moscow had gathered compromising financial, political and personal material about the incoming U.S. president.
That Comey was asked after that encounter, described by U.S. officials briefed on its details, to stay on as FBI director speaks to his survival instincts and ability to inspire confidence. But the meeting may also have provided a preview of the perilous position he occupies serving in the Trump administration while his agents pursue investigations that seem to lead to the president’s associates.
That was a poor decision, Donald John Trump, and I believe you’ll regret it. Director Comey allows politics to intervene in critical decisions where politics should be the very last consideration. Case in point: Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Make no mistake. James Comey is a country-destroying weasel, first for not recommending the prosecution of Hillary Clinton, and second for not placing Hillary Clinton under oath or recording her in any fashion when interviewed on the July 4th weekend of 2016. There is, thusly, no transcript of her interview. Though that’s general FBI policy, in this critical case, an exception should have been made.
To me it is quite clear that FBI Director James Comey, about whose probity I wrote quite a number of times on the blog, has dishonored his law enforcement oath, showing that he has no fidelity, no bravery and no integrity with regard to his decision to not recommend prosecution of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
But in the July 2016 hearing with Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz as documented at Politico, James Comey revealed his flawed and craven, cowardly political thinking when one is familiar with law enforcement prosecutorial thresholds as I am. First:
Director Comey determined a manner in which to weasel his way out of recommending the prosecution of Clinton. At one hearing he went out of his way — again, just like the previous day — to make his own case and then fall back on a position/decision that isn’t his to make.
FBI director: Clinton’s statements were not true
by Nick Gass
FBI Director James Comey confirmed on Thursday that some of Hillary Clinton’s statements and explanations about her email server to the House Benghazi Committee last October were not true, as evidenced by the bureau’s investigation into whether she mishandled classified information.
During an extended exchange with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Comey affirmed that the FBI’s investigation found information marked classified on her server even after Clinton had said that she had neither sent nor received any items marked classified.
“That is not true,” Comey said. “There were a small number of portion markings on, I think, three of the documents.”
Asked whether Clinton’s testimony that she did not email “any classified material to anyone on my email” and “there is no classified material” was true, Comey responded, “No, there was classified material emailed.”
“Secretary Clinton said she used one device. Was that true?” Gowdy asked, to which Comey answered, “She used multiple devices during the four years of her term as secretary of state.”
Comey admits that Clinton lied. But here is the difference (that we won’t know precisely because there was no oath and no recording).
You can lie publicly all you want, if people are sufficiently stupid to believe it — like much of the electorate and the American Media Maggots are doltish enough. But you should not lie to the FBI. My guess is that Hillary Clinton came relatively clean in 3.5 hours. And that is why I believe she was not placed under oath and the interview was not recorded. Things like that make it easier to dispute later when politically necessary. There is no record and it is not completely official. As the Church Lady would have said, “how con-veee-nient.”
Gowdy asked whether Clintons’ lawyers read every one of her emails as she had said. Comey replied, “No.”
But here, ladies and gentlemen, comes the crux of the proverbial biscuit. Please read this carefully, though through Gowdy’s bit of humor:
“In interest of time, because I have a plane to catch tomorrow afternoon, I’m not going to go through anymore of the false statements but I am going to ask you put on your old hat. False exculpatory statements, they are used for what?” Gowdy inquired.
Wait for it.
“Exactly. Intent and consciousness of guilt, right? Is that right?” Gowdy asked. “Consciousness of guilt and intent.”
Please read the rest of the article here, because we are going to jump to another Politico article. Politico purposely does not let you make this link. You have to be smarter than Politico and make the link as I now display to you. We continue:
Comey: Clinton did not lie to the FBI
by Nick Gass
Hillary Clinton did not lie to FBI investigators during their probe into her use of a private server as secretary of state, FBI Director James Comey testified Thursday.
“We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI,” Comey told House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) during one of the hearing’s opening exchanges.
Chaffetz then asked whether Clinton lied to the public. “That’s a question I’m not qualified to answer. I can speak about what she said to the FBI,” Comey said.
Weasel words. Mealy-mouthed. Word pablum. You cannot determine that Clinton lied to the public? You just made your best case that she did. If she didn’t lie to your agents under oath, and you’re unsure if she lied to the public, then why didn’t you simply say so? Instead, you went out of your way to say the opposite. Your statements are conflicting and make no sense whatsoever.
But the most insightful part has arrived. Comey outs himself:
Chaffetz then asked whether it was that he was just not able to prosecute it or that Clinton broke the law.
“Well, I don’t want to give an overly lawyerly answer,” Comey said. “The question I always look at is there evidence that would establish beyond a reasonable doubt that somebody engaged in conduct that violated a criminal statute, and my judgment here is there is not. “
And that was how James Comey attempted to rationalize his decision. He stated he did not believe his case established guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
NEWSFLASH: It is not UP to YOU, Director Comey, to assemble a case that yields a determination of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” That threshold is up to the DOJ or more pointedly a Grand Jury, not you or your organization. All you need to compile a case for submission is “probable cause.” That’s what real cops and real DAs in America do. Their jobs. They stay in their lanes and do their jobs.
As I have said time and again, there are two kinds of crimes as written by statute: those of general intent and those of specific intent. Comey stated that HRC had to have possessed a very specific intent to commit her crimes. EXCEPT that the US codes applicable are not those of specific intent because they do not include the phrase “with the intent to.”
That is how a crime of specific intent is crafted. It is stated.
Even more disturbing: Attorney General Lynch did not recuse herself from the final decision on whether to prosecute the case — nor did she give that decision to a career prosecutor at the Department of Justice. She instead prejudged the case by supposedly blindly accepting the FBI’s recommendation. She stepped back and placed the festering pile of shite in the lap of Comey.
FBI Director James Comey figured out how to cover his own ass by revealing some truths about Hillary Clinton whilst simultaneously making nice with those in DC power positions who could hurt him seriously. This is Comey’s false justification for his decision. And it is clearly wrong and damaging. He created his “out.”
Or did he just believe he “took one for the team”?
In my opinion: no. He dishonored his oath.
Agents were directed to identify exculpatory instead of incriminatory evidence in the Hillary Rodham Clinton illegal server email case “conducted” by the FBI.
And trust me: that grated in the craw of every good line-level FBI agent remotely connected with the investigation.
As it grates with regard to DOJ special agents and some of the attorneys who aren’t yet full Leftist sycophants.
FBI, DOJ roiled by Comey, Lynch decision to let Clinton slide by on emails, says insider
by Malia Zimmerman and Adam Housley
The decision to let Hillary Clinton off the hook for mishandling classified information has roiled the FBI and Department of Justice, with one person closely involved in the year-long probe telling FoxNews.com that career agents and attorneys on the case unanimously believed the Democratic presidential nominee should have been charged.
The source, who spoke to FoxNews.com on the condition of anonymity, said FBI Director James Comey’s dramatic July 5 announcement that he would not recommend to the Attorney General’s office that the former secretary of state be charged left members of the investigative team dismayed and disgusted. More than 100 FBI agents and analysts worked around the clock with six attorneys from the DOJ’s National Security Division, Counter Espionage Section, to investigate the case.
“No trial level attorney agreed, no agent working the case agreed, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision,” said the source, whose identity and role in the case has been verified by FoxNews.com.
Read that again: “No trial level attorney, no agent working the case agree, with the decision not to prosecute — it was a top-down decision.”
Precisely. That decision came directly from the Oval Office via a telephone call to Loretta Lynch and then a call to Director James Comey. It all dovetails and ties up neatly. I wrote about “connecting the dots” of corruption in the Obama administration here. Please take time to read the article — it explains most everything you’ve seen and heard.
Comey can’t stand political or personal heat. From anyone. He instead wants to please everyone, somehow keep his job, and does real justice no service whatsoever. If there ever were an indecisive, cowardly and misdirected man, it is James Brien Comey.
B) Under mounting pressure, on October 28th Director Comey indicated he was re-opening the investigation into more of Hillary Clinton’s emails — an estimated 650,000 of them, stemming from the examination of a case involving Anthony Wiener, husband of Huma Abedin, close assistant and confidant of HRC. The American Media Maggots and the Clinton campaigners moo’d in unison: “bad decision, Jim, bad decision.”
C) Following his determination to re-open the Clinton email case, the OSC (Office of Special Counsel) received complaints about Director Comey regarding violations of the Hatch Act, which is a “law designed to prevent federal officeholders from abusing their power to influence an election.” This complaint was filed Saturday, October 29th with the OSC by lawyer Richard Painter.
D) Nine short days later, armed with a team of miracle workers, FBI Director James Comey reaffirmed his original July decision: yeppers, nothing to see here. No corruption, no collusion, move along. The American Media Maggots and the Clinton campaigners moo’d again in unison: “great decision, Jim, great decision.”
You cannot convince me that James Comey can take political heat. He has instead bent and broken to whatever prevailing political prairie winds were coursing through DC at any given time. He is still sitting in a dark leather chair in his corner orifice whilst the bulk of his peers have left DC — including former AGs Holder and Lynch, as well as the former president. Comey, by appearing confused and/or conciliatory and utilizing his finest set of pablum-packed weasel words, is still standing.
Comey vacillates, he is a flawed thinker, and has proven that he is untrustworthy. Those are now his best qualities.
You keep Comey, President Trump, at your own peril.